Friday, January 13, 2017

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Toro

WarrenEye_Cover_72dpiWarren comes from a long line of other Warrens. In fact, he is number 13. Warren the 1st laid out the plans for the family hotel and Warren the 2nd built it. The hotel was booming for quite a long time until his parents died and his uncle came to take care of him and the hotel. He is not good at either. He married a very wicked woman Annaconda who treats Warren as a slave. So now his home/hotel are run down and his only friends are Bunion the chef and his old tutor.

Rumor has it the hotel hides a treasure called the all-seeing eye and his new aunt Annaconda and her witch's coven plan to find it and steal it and soon others are on their way to look as well.

It's up to Warren to find the treasure and save his family's hotel.

This was a delightful mystery with vivid images and a great locale. The world of Warren the 13th is dark and mysterious with witches and pirates and ghosts, and even octopus guardians in the basement.

There are fun visual nuggets placed throughout the book so kids can hold up pages to mirrors and read secret messages.

It's also a story of the importance of family and friends and learning to work together. This story has plenty of fun fantastical elements and sci-fi to appeal to many readers.

I read this with my son and he loved it. He asked when we could read the next one and was disappointed to learn it wasn't out yet!

*I received this book from the publisher Quirk Books as part of their book tour in exchange for an honest review.

Friday the 13th image
Warren and the Unlucky Day
As part of the tour the author Tania Del Toro has written a short story about Warren called Warren and the Unlucky Day. Also included are some activity pages for kids. Just click on the link under the pic.

Link to the official Warren the 13th website:
Link to the official book page for Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye:
Link to the official book page for Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods:
Goodreads link to Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

2017-01-02 19.13.12John Wayne Cleaver is obsessed with serial killers. Is it because he's a sociopath and has dreams of being one someday? He definitely has sociopathic tendencies and it is really hard for him to feel much empathy but he has rules to keep his 'monster' in check. That is until an actual serial killer pops up in his small town.

I really wanted to like this one. I read Dan Wells' The Partials last year and had a good time. His story was interesting but it was executed badly. The inner psychology of John just didn't ring true. The pacing was a bit clunky. Also the middle took a weird turn and I'm not sure what kind of book he was going for. His world was just a tad confusing. It just wasn't his best work. He did write three sequels so I hope they got better.

Update: I just watched the made-for-tv movie based on this book. It wasn't any better. I was hoping with music and an interesting setting, etc that the story would flow better. Unfortunately, it didn't.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges: The Classics Club

I need to do this. I've bought so many classics over the years but I haven't decided to just sit and read them.

Click on the Classics Club to find out about all the rules and how to join up. Basically I pick at least 50 classics to read over 5 years. I'm picking my list based on what I already own and then I will go on from there. There are also re-reads on my list because it's time.

So in no particular order....

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this in junior high and I loved it. So it's definitely time for a re-read.
Completed April 2017

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This will also be a re-read. But I've never read the full unabridged version. I got the abridged version as a gift when I was in elementary school and enjoyed it but never got around to the full version.

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Russian classic and I've been told this is one of the best literary novels period.

4. The Odyssey by Homer. I've read parts in school but never the whole thing.

5. The Iliad by Homer.

6. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. The one full novel I have never been able to finish. But it's her most mature work and I need to get 'er done.

7. 1984 by George Orwell. I've been meaning to read it forever. Our culture entangles so much from this story. It's about time I get to it.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell. It's short and pretty straight-forward so I shouldn't have any trouble.... Completed September of 2018

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I also read this in high school. I didn't understand it and so I didn't like it. I've grown a lot since then and would love to reread it under a new light.

10. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

11. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

12. Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Spanish hasn't changed as much as English since Cervantes wrote this book. I know a little Spanish and if I'm up to it, I may try this one in Spanish....

13. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I've been wanting to read this since I saw the movie back in the day.

14. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I feel like 1984 and this one go hand-in-hand.

15. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence.

16. Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

17. The Stranger by Albert Camus.

18. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

19. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. I bought an annotated version to help me out even!

20. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.

21. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas.

22. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. Completed August of 2018

23. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

24. A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstencraft.

25. The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

26. Journal of a Solitude by Mary Sarton.

27. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvior.

28. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

29. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

30. The Epic of Gilgamesh.

31. Middlemarch by George Eliot.

32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

33. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

34. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

35. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

36. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

37. Ulysses by James Joyce.

38. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

39. Richard III by William Shakespeare.

40. Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

41. The Pilgrim's Progress  by John Bunyan.

42. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.

43. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

44. Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino

45. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

46. The Trial by Franz Kafka.

47. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

48. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin.

49. If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino.

50. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

51. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

52. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

53. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

54. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My goal is to finish this list by January of 2022...whoa...that seems so faraway!